Exploring Etsy – Minimanna and Doalittledance


Exploring Etsy with loadofolbobbins!

Hello and welcome to the first of my special super-sized festive posts. Instead of you having to read my waffling, I’m going to get cracking straight away and introduce you to the first of today’s two glorious makers: Sam Owen and her shop ‘Minimanna’.

Bunny Brooches by Minimanna (Hand Embroidery)
Bunny Brooches by Minimanna (Hand Embroidery)
Apple Needle Books by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)
Apple Needle Books by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)

After finishing a Fine Art degree in Manchester Sam worked as a freelance artist, leading workshops with young people, making and exhibiting paintings and then having children of her own. For a while there just wasn’t any time for creativity, but like all of us know, it’s not just something that can be switched off. So, armed with her daughter’s favourite old clothes and a sewing machine she set about making some bunting and a cushion, with the aim of making a lovely keepsake or two that would fit her style. Once she’d started making things she just couldn’t stop, rekindling a long lost love of sewing and heralding the arrival of the wonderful ‘Minimanna’. Like all good needlecrafters Sam has now developed a serious fabric addiction and with her unique style loves mixing wild patterns and colour – highly successfully if you ask me. As time allows she’ll also be making a return to painting, aiming to include lino cuts and screen prints soon, so lots for us to look forward to seeing in the future!

Camp Fire Cushion by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)
Camp Fire Cushion by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)
Robot and Flamingo Cushions by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)
Robot and Flamingo Cushions by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)

What is your earliest stitching memory?

I spent every spare minute drawing and relentlessly making things as a kid, and my earliest stitching memory is hard to pin down…there was embroidery from weird drawings in cheap colouring books, my favourite friend for a while was a ‘Knitting Nancy’, joined shortly after by a selection of misshapen fun fur elephants and spiders. I owe a lot to my aunt who taught me how to use her sewing machine and got me interested in making clothes.

Sugar Skull Decorations by Minimanna (Hand Embroidery)
Sugar Skull Decorations by Minimanna (Hand Embroidery)

What fires your imagination?

Colour, light and typography…these are at the top of my list, though give me ten minutes with a clear mind and wide eyes and pretty much anything will fire my imagination. The light shining through trees, yellow cranes lit up against a thunderous grey sky, the shadows cast by a fence, the cute graphics on a packet of Korean Chocolate Mushrooms. I have a growing collection of food packaging that I love which decorates my kitchen walls, ranging from Instant Jellyfish to vintage Atomic Fireball Candy. Discovering Instagram has been very interesting, as it’s helped me to see what it is that catches my eye, and along with Pinterest, is a huge source of inspiration.

Blue Tit and Robin Hoop Art by Minimanna (Hand Embroidery)
Blue Tit and Robin Hoop Art by Minimanna (Hand Embroidery)
Typography and Honey Bee Cushions by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)
Typography and Honey Bee Cushions by Minimanna (Machine Embroidery)

If that wasn’t enough to delight you all for one day, it’s now time to share the beautiful work of Sojung McCarthy and her shop ‘doalittledance’.

Applique Face Purse by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
Applique Face Purse by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
Applique Face Pouch by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
Applique Face Pouch by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)

Sojung originally studied Visual Communication Design in South Korea and worked as a graphic designer for several years. While working on the design for a monthly magazine, working 24/7 on a computer in a cold office she began to miss working with ‘real’ materials she could touch and feel. In the end she moved to the UK and studied Illustration at Arts University Bournemouth, where she got to play with all sorts of materials and make a big mess all day, every day! There’s nothing I like better than a good mess, not such a big fan of the tidy up after though! Still based in Bournemouth Sojung likes to experiment with all her creative skills including drawing, painting, sewing, writing and even singing. Crafting is a very important part of her creative practice and she can’t seem to stop sewing these days – I’m sure we can all empathise with that!

'Robin on a Tree' Hoop Art by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
‘Robin on a Tree’ Hoop Art by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
'Milk Time Kitty Cat' Hoop Art by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
‘Milk Time Kitty Cat’ Hoop Art by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
'Tea Time Fox' Hoop Art (detail) by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)
‘Tea Time Fox’ Hoop Art (detail) by Doalittledance (Hand Embroidery)

What is your earliest stitching memory?

My earliest stitching memory is with my mum – I was around 8 years old, and she taught me how to make chain stitches which was the only kind of embroidery stitch she knew. In fact, she was not a sewer at all. The seamstress’ blood that my grandmother had somehow skipped my mum and was poured all into me!

Cows on a Field Cushion by Doalittledance (Needle Felt)
Cows on a Field Cushion by Doalittledance (Needle Felt)

What fires your imagination?

Traveling. I bring my sketchbook when I travel and do some drawings while my husband drinks tea (he is a heavy tea drinker and demands a tea break every 2 hours). I get more ideas this way than sitting at my work table.

What I’ve shared with you in today’s edition really is just scratching the surface of all the wonderful goodies that both of these inspiring makers have to offer so do go ahead and visit their shops, here and here.

—–

Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.


LoadofOlBobbins
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her Etsy shop.
LoadofOlBobbins

@loadofolbobbins

Textile Artist, Illustrator & Family tree detective, share a sacred bond with my sewing machine. Mr X Stitch crew. https://t.co/pIOrGQBHqd
RT @womensart1: 'Fruit Tart' by Kimika Hara, contemporary hand embroiderer from Japan #womensart https://t.co/hwnWNY5yOl - 14 hours ago
LoadofOlBobbins
LoadofOlBobbins

Latest posts by LoadofOlBobbins (see all)